I just couldn’t do it!

Campsite view

Campsite view

I have a post sitting in my draft folder.  A post about the most ridiculous camping trip I’ve ever experienced, and by ridiculous I mean terrible, but I don’t really want to admit it was terrible, so I’m going to call it ridiculous.  I have this half-written post sitting there, but in the course of getting to the half-way point I realized I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t write an entire post dedicated to the telling of this camping trip in narrative form.



First, y’all wouldn’t read something that spanned the course of 10,000 words!  Nu-uh.

And, second, there was more to the story than just telling the details of a camping trip gone wrong.

So, I decided to summarize the hilarity or calamity, if you will, of our BIG two-day Pre-4th of July vacation with the coveted ease of bullet points…like this:

  • When I picked up Maycee from the Club Wednesday afternoon, she had a bruised nose full of splinters from doing a flip that landed her face down in the wood chips. This was a sign.  I ignored it.
  • We got to Lake Cachuma, where I had reserved our spot, only to find we were right next to a huge family.  Every other spot was empty.  Ironic.
  • Maycee developed a cold the first night. No further comment necessary.
  • We were ravaged by a GIGANTIC raccoon who felt he just HAD to finish off the trail mix left in a bag inside of a closed Tupper Ware bin,but also wanted to play percussion with the rest of our camping gear.  At 2:00AM.  It was loud-not that either of us were sleeping.
  • 20-somethings love saying the F-word while in the bushes doing who knows what at 3:00 in the morning.  A lot.  For hours.  With the raccoon.
  • Maycee’s cold got worse, but we tried to enjoy the next day at the campground walking the lake shore, checking out the Nature Center, shopping at the little market for cough drops, and going into town for a bite to eat.
  • The campground went from empty to full within a New York minute.
  • While away in town, somebody figured we wouldn’t need our fire log that night and removed it from our fire pit.  The only fire log we had.   They were wrong.  Maycee described the language flying out of my mouth at that point as ONE BIG BLEEP.
  • I played Daniel Boone trying to make fire from twigs and wood pieces, oh, and paper towels, park maps, and throw-away realty books I’d picked up in town. I succeeded in making a smoke ring, crying out for help.  Nobody came.
  • Our huge family neighbors tripled in size….and volume level.
  • We made s’mores from smoke-called smoky s’mores. I need a marketing agent for this flavor.
  • Maycee’s cold continued to worsen, so she crashed in the tent while I enjoyed the neighbor’s grand kids driving their electric Jeep through our campsite, as well as the sounds of every other huge family gearing up for the 4th of July.  Awwwwwwe, the tranquility of the beautiful outdoors.
  • The next morning Maycee and I packed up our campsite faster than we ever had before in our lives and laughed as Ariana Grande’s song “Problem” came on the radio while we were driving home.
  • We turned it up.  We sang along.

It’s really not “the pits”!

That was it.  Two planned vacation days come and gone like the wind.

As we walked through the door of the Yellow Submarine we let out a sigh of relief.  We both cleaned up, and I unpacked while Maycee climbed onto the couch to rest.

And, while I had wanted to take some kind of vacation somewhere this summer, like all of my friends, I now valued the solitude of my own home.  The quiet. The comfort. The peace.

The rest of the weekend we didn’t do much with Maycee being sick.   I gardened, laid on the chaise lounge, played ball with Percy, finished an upholstery project, and watched the 4th of July fireworks on TV.  It was bliss, actually.  I even called into the barn and had folks cover for me so Maycee could truly rest.  No schedule.  No agenda.  No demands.

I figured, if nothing else, that this ridiculous camping trip would be great material for my blog.  But, it was also a reminder that sometimes “getting away” isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be-that a true vacation (to me) is simply taking a break from the regular routine of life, which can happen right in the middle of your own backyard (or living room).  And, after this trip, it’s a reminder I will not forget.  Not for a long, long time.


Lake Cachuma at 30% capacity

So, even though Lake Cachuma was a bust, and we won’t be traversing the miles to Alaska or New York or Florida or Oregon or Utah or Montana or any of the other summer destinations of those we know, I’m happy to say I’m grateful.

Best laid plans and crazy raccoons…

If you have any summer vacation stories gone awry, I sure would love to hear about them!  And, otherwise, remember Readers, that life is short–waaaaay too short to be upset for long about crappy camping trips.  Be happy, and give a chuckle at my expense.  C’mon! (Wink.)


Just plain sweet!








16 responses

  1. This sounds like a screenplay waiting to be written. Or a sitcom. Hmmmm.

    And what is this “No schedule. No agenda.” you speak of? I might have to look into that. 🙂

    We stay-cationed in a French Quarter hotel this weekend , with the boys and their girlfriends. (There was a girl room, of course, because I’m old fashioned line that.) but my story won’t get the laughs yours will. I would tell that one over and over until it becomes family lore!

    • I know, right?!? My daughter and I honestly laughed our heads off as we drove home (in between coughing spells, of course)! The raccoon was the best…he came right into our camp while we were still awake, and when I tried to shoo him off, he sauntered down the road acting very entitled. Super hilarious! 🙂

  2. Oh, man. We love to camp. And almost every trip is full of kinks. The cake was in Yellowstone, at the height of summer season. Our tent BLEW APART in a wind storm. We had to buy the only tent tent they sell in the park, which is teeny tiny. Same trip, wind blew one of our camp chairs into the fire. (Who needs logs? Just start setting fire to your gear.) But, memories. You two will always remember this one!

  3. I think you summed it all up in your last paragraph… life is just too short to dwell on misfortune and horrible camping trips. Laughing is your best revenge. Personally, I’m wary of camping, did plenty of that as a kid, and our family house was so ramshackle, we had a continuous influx of critters–no need to go ‘out in nature’, as nature joined us in the house. I always say that the day I go camping is the day my house can be put on wheels. You had more rest and quiet at home!

    • Yes, you are sooooo right! Last year I rented a trailer for us, and it was so wonderful! I think I’m just too tired to want to go through the entire camping experience any more, and with more and more folks not respecting the nature-side of things, it really makes it hard to take. Either way, it was an eventful time and gives me cause to vote for a hotel next year! Ha, ha….Thanks for sharing! XOXO-Kasey

    • Yes, indeed. I haven’t traveled more than these two-day adventures in over a decade, but the more I experience with the world in this way, the more I just want to retreat to the tranquility that has become my little Yellow Submarine. 🙂 Hope your summer is going well, Darla! XOXO-Kasey

  4. This was great – I could totally picture it! I know what you mean about vacations. I’m always excited for them, but in so many ways they’re a lot of work and I’m exhausted by the time the vacation is over! Thanks for sharing this

  5. Oh dear friend! You are such a trooper, you and your gal! Oy, what a couple of days! You are so inspiring to see the lessons in life the way you do. Thank you for sharing!! xoxox NY

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